Preliminary Evidence Indicates that the Syrian Government Did NOT Launch a Chemical Weapon Attack Against Its People
Now that the US has made up its mind once more and "knows" that Wednesday's chemical attack in Syria was conducted by the government and targeting the "rebels", even as the "developed" west calls for a UN investigation to determine just that, and as the US (including the CIA), Israel and Jordan have already sent an advance military force into Syria to conduct more false flag provocations and blame it on the regime, the only next step is to soften and prepare popular opinion for what comes next. And what comes next is on the front page of the WSJ this morning: "The U.S. began refining its military options for possible strikes in Syria, officials said... Officers at the Pentagon on Thursday were updating target lists for possible airstrikes on a range of Syrian government and military installations." Then again we have seen all this before. Surely, one of these times the administration will actually go ahead and push the button instead of just talking about it.
Almost three years ago we warned of the consequence of the disincentives for the working man in the US at the lower-income level. Then, last November we noted the dismal fact that 'work is punished' in America for a large majority of the non-elites. And now, as the part-time new normal becomes more and more understood in the mainstream, we ask once again... If you could stay home and relax all day and actually make more money than you do at your current job, would you do it?
Barack Obama has been running around the country taking credit for an "economic recovery", but the truth is that things have not gotten better under Obama. Compared to when he first took office, a smaller percentage of the working age population is employed, the quality of our jobs has declined substantially and the middle class has been absolutely shredded. If we are really in the middle of an "economic recovery", why is the homeownership rate the lowest that it has been in 18 years? Why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by nearly 50 percent while Obama has been in the White House? Why has the national debt gotten more than 6 trillion dollars larger during the Obama era? Obama should not be "taking credit" for anything when it comes to the economy. In fact, he should be deeply apologizing to the American people.
Following yet another rout in Asia overnight, which since shifted over to Europe, US equity futures have stabilized as a result of a modest buying/short-covering spree in the 10 Year which after threatening to blow out in the 2.90% range and above, instead fell back to 2.81%. Yet algos appear confused by the seeming USD weakness in the past few hours (EURUSD just briefly rose over 1.34) and instead of ploughing head first into stock futures have only modestly bid them up and are keeping the DJIA futs just above the sacred to the vacuum tube world 15,000 mark. A lower USDJPY (heavily correlated to the ES) did not help, after it was pushed south by more comments out of Japan that a sales tax hike is inevitable which then also means a lower budget deficit, less monetization, less Japanese QE and all the other waterfall effect the US Fed is slogging through. Keep an eye on the 10 Year and on the USD: which signal wins out will determine whether equities rise or fall, and with speculation about what tomorrow's minutes bring rife, it is anybody's bet whether we get the 10th red close out of 12 in the S&P500.
“We have to turn the page on the bubble-and-bust mentality that created this mess,” President Obama stated authoritatively in his weekend radio address... but do not get too excited by the possibility of a real end to the Keynesian experiment and a return to 'free' markets for the President, in his oh-so-not-trying-to-start-a-class-warfare-battle way, blames bubbles not on Central banks (who have done "an outstanding job") but on the skewed distribution of income. As Bloomberg reports, Obama states “When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy." The problem with his way of thinking is best described by the status quo defender Sarah Bloom Raskin who offered up this insight into what the manipulation of market interest rates gives us, "asset bubbles are a feature of our financial landscape." So there it is, a feature (not a bug) that the President wants to get rid of (and yet wants to maintain the illusion that unrealized profit (and debt) is wealth).
If there is one day when the pent up tensions on both sides resulting from the Egyptian coup over a month ago may boil over and lead to an all out civil war (still unclear how John Kerry would "define" that one) today may be that day, as Cairo is braced for what may be the most violent confrontations yet with supporters of the deposed president Mursi calling for “day of rage” protests after Friday prayers, and the Egyptian polic (now using live ammo) and army set to crush any such "illegal" protests. Since millions are set to hit the streets, there is no way this will have a peaceful outcome.
Recently, Fox News interviewed a self-described beach bum named Jason Greenslate who was very open about the fact that he has no problem sponging off of all the rest of us. When he was asked if he ever had any interest in actually getting a job, his response was "not whatsoever". Instead, he says that his job is to "make sure the sun's up and the girls are out" and he would rather spend his days partying. Of course every American should be free to live their own lives as they see fit, but the problem is that Jason Greenslate is using food stamps to help support his lifestyle. Of course the vast majority of those enrolled in the food stamp program are not like this. But there are also those such as Jason Greenslate that are openly abusing the system and making it more difficult for those that actually need the help to get it. Sadly, he is a product of the system that he was raised in.
Yesterday I thought that Barack Obama was probably the worst President in the entire history of the USA given his record on unemployment and Gross Domestic Product since he has been in office. But, then again, on second thoughts...
The percentage of Americans that are economically independent has dropped to a stunningly low level. What we have in America today is a situation where economic independence is being systematically eradicated and the government is increasingly being expected to provide our daily bread and to take care of all of us from the cradle to the grave. And once you become a serf of the state, it is very hard to resist anything the government is doing in a meaningful way. After all, the money that you are getting from the government is enabling you to survive. In essence, your allegiance has been at least partially purchased and you may not even realize it. At this point, the number of Americans that are financially dependent on the government is absolutely staggering, and it gets worse with each passing year. Just consider the following statistics...
A question arises: how does one know they are living in an unmitigated disaster of a banana republic where not even an attempt at hiding the crime and corruption takes place? Well, we are not absolutely certain, but we have a distinct feeling that when the president appoints as his impartial "reviewer" of the ultra top secret NSA's policies and capabilities the one man who was caught and exposed and subsequently apologized for lying to Congress, that may be a pretty damn good sign. Sadly, that is precisely what just happened.
Bloomberg's Jon Weil, who has compiled the following stunning array of lies regarding the DOJ's enforcement activity disclosed by none other than its head, Eric Holder, is far too kind when he says that the "fast and furious" Holder owes the American people an apology. What we really owes is at least a resignation (and frankly much more, but it is too early on Monday to become too politically incorrect). And considering that the DOJ in its now former employee Lanny Brauer's words refused to prosecute those banks which were deemed "too big to prosecute", the lying here has now became a meta phenomenon, as the DOJ is effectively caught lying about lying. How many more meta levels of higher up fraud "inception" can Holder take this, before the American people finally demand his head, metaphorically-speaking of course? Sadly, judging by the response to unprecedented scandals coming out of this administration so far, the answer is... more.
Last week we witnessed the almost unprecedented veto intervention in the Apple-Samsung patent debate. Last night, after the market had closed, the hits kept coming for the South Korean company as the Cupertino crushed showed the ITC that Samsung's infringements should mean a sales and import ban in the US. As Reuters reports, the decision is likely to inflame passions in the long-running dispute since the decision will now - once again - go to President Barack Obama, who has 60 days to review them and decide whether to side with the American company that 'donated' $16.5mm to his campaign or the South Korean market-share 'stealer' that only gave $3.7 million in offerings at the altar of hope-and-change. While some are calling foul so soon after the veto, with South Korean government officials 'observing' closely, even the US Trade Representative is against the proposed Samsung ban, citing "competitive conditions and the effect on the US consumer."
In what is as close to saying 'trust us, we're from the government,' as it gets; President Obama's traitor-identifying, blame-pointing, cover-your-assing speech on Friday has done nothing to end the supposedly "critical NSA counter-terrorism tool," from being used on American citizens. People of America should be relieved, as the President stated unequivocally that he is "comfortable that the program is not being abused." If only American citizens were able to see all the moving pieces, Obama implied, they would say "you know what? These [government] folks are following the law," but because the program remains classified, it remains impossible to know what is really going on. Reassuring rhetoric aside, as the AP notes, Obama offered these inspiring words regarding the ongoing concerns that law-abiding citizens may still have beyond his assurances: "I would be worried too, if I weren't inside the government." Another teleprompter-less glimpse of what he really thinks? Perhaps; but for now, the NSA will continue to sweep phone records of all Americans with the possibility of creating similar databases of credit card transactions, hotel records, and Internet searches.
How would America ever survive without the central planners in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve? What in the world would we do if there was no income tax and no IRS? Could the U.S. economy possibly keep from collapsing under such circumstances? The mainstream media would have us believe that unless we have someone "to pull the levers" our economy would descend into utter chaos, but the truth is that the best period of economic growth in U.S. history occurred during a time when there was no income tax and no Federal Reserve. We never needed a central bank, we never needed the IRS and we never needed an income tax. America would be doing just fine without any of them. But instead, America chose to go down the path of collectivization and central planning, and now we are heading toward the biggest economic disaster in the history of mankind.